Toshiko Akiyoshi on Teddy Wilson
Now, A Jazz Moment...
MUSIC: Teddy Wilson's "Sweet Lorraine"
This recording of pianist Teddy Wilson playing "Sweet Lorraine" was the first jazz that Japanese pianist Toshiko Akiyoshi ever heard.
Toshiko Akiyoshi: When I heard that I said, Oh I wanna play just like that...
MUSIC: little post
Teddy Wilson was very clean pianist. I think most swing era pianist was very clean, easy to understand. But Teddy Wilson in particular. For classically trained pianist like myself I can identify.
By imitating what she heard on records, Akiyoshi soon gained stature in Japan, becoming the first Japanese player to be recorded by a major American label, back in 1953.
People always ask me why you became a jazz player. And it's not an intellectual decision. Something about the rhythm, I felt very natural.
This Jazz Moment with pianist and bandleader Toshiko Akiyoshi was created by the National Endowment for the Arts.